After eight years of shooting zombies, shooting people, and finding ever-new ways of shouting “Cahrull!”, Andrew Lincoln is finally getting ready to leave The Walking Dead. But while there’s already been a lot of talk about how the loss of its acting anchor is likely to affect the long-running AMC series, we’ve all been neglecting just what this’ll do to Lincoln’s long-time castmate and closest on-set buddy, Norman Reedus.
Reedus—whose kind-hearted crossbowman Daryl will likely step up from “fan favorite” to “actual series star” in the wake of Rick Grimes’ death—talked out those feelings alongside his pal during a recent Entertainment Weekly Radio interview. At one point, he described his daily routine with Lincoln, who, along with Melissa McBride, is now the only other survivor from the show’s very first season:
He was the first person I saw in the morning. As soon as we wrapped, he immediately called me in the car. We speak all the time. We spent every lunch break in my trailer. We shared a trailer for forever.
In fact, at one point, the two even had a sort of mutual destruction pact between them; according to Reedus, “We made a pact. I think it was like season 3 or 4. We’re like, ‘If you leave, I leave. Right?’ And that was the thing.” (When Lincoln jokingly asked if the agreement was still in place, Reedus responded with a cheerful, “Oh, hell no.”)
“He set the bar very high right from the beginning,” Reedus said of his friend, delivering a sweet little monologue that could probably match whatever the aging zombie series manages to put up on-screen when it ultimately says goodbye to Rick. “And we’re always trying to keep it real. And he’s always in our heads while we’re trying to do that. He’s made me a better actor, a friend, a father, all the way down the line. He’s a very, very important person to me.”
Damn it, Norman, don’t make us cry. All that excess noise is how people get et.